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There is no denying it: the Cultural centre, “Plassen”, Molde, Norway by 3XN.

There is no denying it: the Cultural centre, “Plassen”, Molde, Norway by 3XN.


I have a good collection of Norwegian Jazz thanks to my much-loved Norwegian friend who wanted me to know of the vibrant jazz scene in that country. Of course I expressed my doubts: improbable... where does the tradition come from... who are these musicians... etc. All a ploy of course, in the hope of getting another excellent recording for my next birthday present!

Such a ploy today would be hopeless. The “Plassen” (meaning square or place) designed by 3XN Architects has opened. For the first time it gives the world famous Molde's International Jazz Festival an undeniable, and rather special architectural presence.

The building hosts three cultural institutions the Jazz festival, the local theatre, ‘Teatret Vårt’, and ‘The Bjørnson Festival’ which is a literary event. It also has a library, art gallery and will act as a general cultural centre that will host a range of events for the town.

The architectural idea is to create the illusion that the inner and outdoor spaces are one. In urban terms, the building is basically rectilinear, as are surrounding buildings, and it also used uses local stone for the walls and floors blending with other architecture in the town. But there is no attempt to deny what it is; the building is uncompromisingly contemporary, and very exciting.

Of note is the generously broad external stair that acts as seating for an outdoor stage. This new civic space and building is likely to become an important new focus for the town itself.

The contemporary nature of the architecture resonates strongly with the creative edge that infuses the music. In a sense the building now speaks of the vibrant music scene that visits the town every summer.

I have to face it, I am going to have to start buying my own Norwegian Jazz from now on!

Cultural centre



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